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Articles by Danielle

Steve McDonald guest blogs over at Chronicle Books

by Danielle
Architecture + Art & Photography + Guest Blogger + Travel / July 28, 2015

Original blog post can be found here

Fantastic Cities

Steve McDonald is an artist and lifelong traveler who has lived in cities and countries all over the world. His large-format, photo-based, detailed drawings of cities are collected in the new adult coloring book Fantastic Cities, coming this August.

I’ve always loved drawing buildings. When I was young, I even had aspirations of becoming an architect, but ended up as an illustrator instead. When creating a piece of art, the most appealing part for me has always been the line work. Even when I’m working on a painting, the part I enjoy most is always the initial drawing. I really love lines, and I think that shows in the finished work.

Fantastic Cities Coloring Book

I have my daughters to thank for how Fantastic Cities came together as a coloring book. After creating artwork focusing on individual and small groups of buildings, I started to veer toward larger groups and then aerial views of cities. My daughters saw this work and told me that they thought it would be fun to color in the lines themselves (whereas I might normally keep going past the line-work stage to color it myself).

Steve McDonald

I realized that it might be a perfect vehicle to share my work more widely, with people who might not otherwise see my paintings, for instance. I also really like that people everywhere could become a part of the creative process. That’s very exciting and fun, and I’m looking forward to seeing how people might choose to color the images in.

In my city drawings I always try to accentuate the characteristics that make a city unique. For example, the organized chaos of a favela in Brazil, the towering majesty of a skyscraper in New York, or the historic façades of Parisian row houses. I try to capture something that illustrates something unique about that place.


I love to draw on-site with pencils or ink and I always try to take a lot of photographs. (For sites I haven’t visited, I’ve been fortunate to work from the material of many noted photographers.) I take these back with me to my studio, and it’s there that I really create the compositions using a range of analog and digital means, including ink on paper, stylus work on a tablet, and wall projection. The size of the original work really depends on the composition and detail of the image. Sometimes they are quite large. 24 inches square is the smallest I work while sometimes they are as big as 6 feet square ! Even if I’m drawing with the tablet I like to do the drawings bigger than I need to. This allows me to really get into some of the detail required on some of them.

City Drawing

I know that lots of people find coloring to be meditative and relaxing. What do I do when I want to unwind? I draw! I also love nature and travelling. By that, I mean living in nature and travelling to cities. I’ve been a lifelong traveler ever since my family moved to the Middle East in 1979. I’ve lived in Saudi Arabia, Italy, India and Indonesia, visited dozens of countries, and spent the better part of twenty years travelling and painting my native Canada coast to coast by bus, car, helicopter, canoe, by ship and on foot. My wife and kids and I just spent two years in Bali, where my daughter and I learned how to surf, and we really enjoy it.

Among my favorite illustrations for the book are the Rocinha Favela in Rio (there’s an organized craziness to it that is immensely appealing to me), the Amsterdam street corner, because I love drawing that city, and the super-dense San Francisco drawing from above, which was kind of nuts and definitely the biggest challenge in the book. I can’t wait to see how they get colored in.

Can’t wait until August to start coloring? Download and print a page from Fantastic Cities.




Steve McDonald

Steve McDonald is a Canadian artist who has lived and travelled in cities around the world and now lives in Ontario. This is his first book.


Last minute Father’s Day book ideas

by Danielle
Board Books + Food & Drink + Humour + Parenting / June 18, 2015

It's not too late!

Here's some great titles we think would be a great fit for your dad, or husband, or some great guy you know with children! All available at your local bookshop. List is a bit long but hey, what can we say? We have lots of books to offer!

Grilling season has begun!

by Danielle
Food & Drink / May 21, 2015

Happy Spring! What a perfect time to start up the ol'bbq!

We have so many great grilling books this season! So here are a few to help get your creative juices flowing.

In his latest lip-smackin' cookbook, Dr. BBQ shows how to dress up meat, vegetables, and fruits with 120 brand-new recipes for tantalizing marinades, mouthwatering injections, savory brines, flavorful rubs, delectable glazes, and full recipes for what to make with them.



A taste of the good life! This bite-size collection showcases 20 special recipes, all with photographs, that will inspire food lovers to take the party outside. Selected from some of Chronicle Books' best-loved cookbooks, here are easy-peasy drinks (alcoholic and nonalcoholic), quick appetizers, simple salads and sides, and great-for-the-grill main dishes.


BBQ Brian Misko shares the secrets of successful grilling in this collection of his best recipes from the backyard and the competition BBQ circuit. Here's a recipe below for you to try out. Enjoy!!


We're also doing a BBQ giveaway! Please head on over to our Facebook page and let us know what you like to BBQ for a chance to not only win a set of all of these books (incl. a signed copy of Grilling With House of Q), but also some yummy sauces and a some house rub courtesy of House of Q as well! Happy grilling!! ~ Dani

Conquer Creative Block with Canadian Artist Danielle Krysa!

by Danielle
Art & Photography + Craft + Design & Typography + Events + Vancouver / September 15, 2014

Danielle Krysa is a Vancouver-based artist, curator and writer. Her blog The Jealous Curator receives 250,000 page views a month.

Creative Block 

Get Unstuck, Discover New Ideas. Advice & Projects from 50 Successful Artists
Danielle Krysa
ISBN 9781452118888 | $36.95 pb
Chronicle Books

Creative block is a crippling—and unfortunately universal—challenge for artists. No longer! This chunky blockbuster of a book is chock-full of solutions for overcoming all manner of artistic impediment. The blogger behindThe Jealous Curator interviews 50 successful international artists and mines their insights on how to conquer self-doubt, stay motivated, and get new ideas to flow.


Contemporary Artists Hunt and Gather, Cut and Paste, Mash Up and Transform
Danielle Krysa
ISBN 9781452124803 | $33.95 pb
Chronicle Books | 16 Sept 2014

Collage has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity during the twenty-first century, resulting in an explosion of creativity. This showcase of cutting-edge contemporary art from across the globe features galleries of collage by 30 practitioners, from the surreal landscapes of Beth Hoeckel to Fabien Souche's humorous appropriations of pop culture.


Upcoming Events:

Vancouver September 22
Talk / Q&A / Collage Workshop
Granville Island Hotel, 1253 Johnston Street, Vancouver
Monday, September 22, 1:00 PM – 3:30 PM   Cost: $10. 

Space is limited and registration is required. To register, please visit Opus Granville Island or contact them at 604‑736‑7028.

Toronto September 24
Talk / Q&A / Book Signing
Swipe, 401 Richmond St. West, Toronto
Wednesday, September 24, 6:00pm-8:00pm

RSVP to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)






Grumpy Cat is coming to Toronto!

by Danielle
Events + Humour / July 14, 2014

We're so excited to announce Grumpy Cat is going to Toronto (and four US cities)!

Grumpy Cat to Embark on 5-City Book Tour

International Star and Cat Curmudgeon Brings Wit, Wisdom and Indifference to Her Fans

Grumpy Cat, the feline with the famous frown, will appear in five cities to promote her new book, The Grumpy Guide to Life: Observations by Grumpy Cat (August 5th, $15.95, Chronicle Books), the follow-up to New York Times bestseller Grumpy Cat: A Grumpy Book. Tour stops include Los Angeles, Las Vegas, New York City, Chicago and Toronto where Grumpy Cat will glower and pose with her fans for photos. Grumpy Cat’s appearances regularly draw thousands of attendees who want to see the world’s grumpiest cat who has become a pop culture luminary. 

The Grumpy Guide to Life: Observations by Grumpy Cat is the alternative to feel-good, positive thinking. Rather, Grumpy Cat brings the advice, maxims and observations that have made her the spirit animal for people everywhere. With sections on family, relationships, nature, and even happiness (admittedly, a very short section), success is just a frown away.

Grumpy Cat will appear at the following locations:

Monday, August 4th, 2014, 6pm
Kitson Santa Monica
395 Santa Monica Place, #120, Santa Monica, CA
(310) 260-9170

Tuesday, August 5th, 6pm
Kitson Las Vegas
3545 Las Vegas Blvd. South, #L28, Las Vegas, NV
(702) 836-0925

Thursday, August 7th, 2014, 5pm
Barnes & Noble Union Square
33 E. 17th Street, New York City
(212) 253-0810

Friday, August 8th, 2014 7pm
Barnes & Noble Old Orchard
55 Old Orchard Center, Skokie IL
(847) 676-2230

Saturday, August 9th, 2014 3pm
Indigo Eaton Centre
220 Yonge St., Toronto, Canada
(416) 591-3622

About the Author

Grumpy Cat is a small cat with a big frown that became an international sensation. Her first book, Grumpy Cat: A Grumpy Book spent 10 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. As a bestselling author and demotivational guru, she has 6 million Facebook fans, over 200,000 Twitter followers, and appeared on a variety of TV shows including American Idol, Good Morning America and the MTV Movie Awards. She lives grumpily in Arizona.

Kids are Weird…

by Danielle
Contests + Kids + Parenting / March 28, 2014

...and cute, and innocent and kind, but ya, they're totally weird.

We're holding a contest over here. Post odd quirky things your kid has said for a chance to win a set of Jeffrey Brown's books Darth Vader and Son, Vader's Little Princess and his newest Kids are Weird.

Contest closes April 18th. We'll draw randomly.

Best of luck!!

I Can Do It Conferences ~ Toronto and Vancouver

by Danielle
Events + Spirituality / March 06, 2014

I Can Do It! 201 - Toronto

Date: March 15, 2014 - March 16, 2014 Sponsored by: Hay House Location: Roy Thomson Hall, Toronto, Canada


I Can Do It! 2014 - Vancouver

Date: May 17, 2014 - May 18, 2014 Sponsored by: Hay House Location: Queen Elizabeth Theatre


Tour Description

Join us for a weekend retreat at I Can Do It!® created by Louise Hay to help you heal your life! Unveil the true you, unleash your divine greatness, release pain and fear, and learn how to make the best choices for your mind, body and spirit! Awaken to new possibilities and create a life you love!

In this interactive conference, you'll:

  • Discover your true purpose
  • Experience more intimate and fulfilling relationships
  • Embrace challenges as opportunities
  • Heal your past for a better today and brighter tomorrow
  • Make a plan with lasting changes that stick—choosing food, thoughts and spiritual practices for a healthier, happier you!

All of Hay House's incredibly inspiring titles are available at your local bookshop.

Please check your local listings for Dr. Wayne W. Dyer's new PBS special, I Can See Clearly Now.


by Danielle
Art & Photography + Environment + Events / December 09, 2013

December 17, 2013 | 6-8pm | Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre | Free event! | Join the authors and others from the Utsám' Witness Community for a book signing and slide show. Light refreshments will be served. Please support our efforts to sell 1000 books by the New Year. Less than 300 books to go! Slideshow will feature images from the book and the project, including images of Aaron Nelson-Moody's work which began during the project and the photographs of Shel Neufeld. With musical guest Sylvi.


by Danielle
Art & Photography + Environment + Events / November 15, 2013

Nancy Bleck, Katherine Dodds and Chief Bill Williams

Book Launch

Thursday November 21, 2013 at 5:00pm
Charles H. Scott Gallery
Emily Carr University of Art + Design
1399 Johnston Street

Please join us in a traditional Coast Salish Utsám’ Witness ceremony and for the launch of Picturing Transformation: Nexw-áyantsut at READ Books. Cultural speakers, honourary guests and authors will be present.

Picturing Transformation: Nexw-áyantsut tells the remarkable story of how a First Nations chief, an artist and a mountaineer evolved a new form of environmental and cultural activism, and saved 50,000 hectares of forest in the process.

Utsám’ Witness, was a series of camping weekends held in Nexw-áyantsut (meaning place of transformation in the Squamish language) that brought together Coast Salish peoples and settlers to walk, sleep, eat, make art, have conversations and participate in ceremonies on this disputed territory. Combining the haunting words of Utsám’ Witness participants with exquisite photographs of the land and those who have visited it through the past two decades, this book pays homage to the powerful role that people with strong vision and a common purpose can play in honouring tradition, safeguarding land and changing policy. It’s both a visual testament to the power of collaboration and a lesson in the possibilities for resolving conflict peacefully, now and in the future.

Picturing Transformation: Nexw-áyantsut is published by Figure 1 Publishing

For more information please contact READ at readbooks [@] ecuad.ca 


Petit Collage is coming to Raincoast!

by Danielle
Design & Typography + Environment + Gift & Stationery + Home & Garden / July 18, 2013


July 18, 2013

is now the exclusive Canadian distributor for Petit Collage, a leading lifestyle brand for modern families, based in San Francisco. Petit Collage encompasses over 200 eco-friendly products ranging from toys and games to wall décor and mobiles.

Petit Collage’s founder, Lorena Siminovich, is a noted designer, illustrator, author, and entrepreneur, who has been featured in Dwell magazine, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times. Petit Collage products are sold in over 500 stores worldwide including Barneys NY, Anthropologie, Pottery Barn Kids, and select Canadian boutique baby stores.

“Lorena’s design sense is hugely appealing to Raincoast, and her commitment to quality, sustainability, and fair trading practices truly resonates. Petit Collage both complements our existing client base and provides us with ample opportunity to stretch ourselves in a changing
retail market,” says Paddy Laidley, Executive Vice-President of Sales & Marketing for Raincoast. “Petit Collage is a perfect fit for Canada and Raincoast is highly motivated to expand their presence here.”

"We are very excited to partner with Raincoast Books,” says Siminovich. “We have long admired the quality of their lines and the breadth of their coverage in Canada. With their amazing sales force, we look forward to being introduced to new stores we weren't able to reach ourselves, while providing our existing customers a much faster turnaround and better customer service."

Raincoast will showcase the Fall 13 Petit Collage collection at the Toronto Gift Show August 11- 14, 2013.

For more information please visit: www.petitcollage.com


About Petit Collage
Started in 2006, Petit Collage is all about good design. Artist and founder Lorena Siminovich approaches all she does including authoring and illustrating over 20 children’s books with this philosophy. With her team of designers, she creates modern wall décor and home accessories influenced by midcentury design. The studio, located in an artistic hub of San Francisco, is an incubator of new ideas, art, and illustration where creating great design and pushing the envelope on new formats is the norm. Playfulness imbues every format Petit Collage touches from mobiles and mirrors to dolls, decals and more. Striving to handcraft their goods in a sustainable way using the best-quality, most forest-friendly materials available is equally important.

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